Black Power Movement and American Social Work
The Black Power movement has often been portrayed in history and popular culture as the quintessential "bad boy" of modern black movement making in America. Yet this image misses the full extent of Black Power's contributions to U.S. society, especially in regard to black professionals in social work.
Relying on extensive archival research and oral history interviews, this study follows two groups of black social workers in the 1960s and 1970s as they mobilized Black Power ideas, strategies, and tactics to change their national professional associations. Comparing black dissenters within the National Federation of Settlements (NFS), who fought for concessions from within their organization, and those within the National Conference on Social Work (NCSW), who ultimately adopted a separatist strategy, this book shows how the Black Power influence was central to the rise of black professional associations. It provides a nuanced approach to studying race-based movements and offers a framework for understanding the role of social movements in shaping the nonstate organizations of civil society.